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Robotics Introduction. Course Structure Etymology Definition Robot Definition Robotics OK So what is a robot? How new is robotics? What do I need to know to work in robotics Math and language is mostly common Vocabulary Matrix Algebra Types of Robots. Etymology.

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robotics introduction
Robotics Introduction

Course Structure


Definition Robot

Definition Robotics

OK So what is a robot?

How new is robotics?

What do I need to know to work in robotics

Math and language is mostly common


Matrix Algebra

Types of Robots

Robotics 1Copyright Martin P. Aalund, Ph.D.


The Word Robot has its root in the Slavic languages and means worker, compulsory work, or drudgery. It was popularized as a word for intelligent machines by the Czechoslovakian playwright Karel Kapek in Rossum’s Universal Robot 1921

1950s Isaac Asimov Came up with laws of robotics in I Robot

1. A robot may not injure a human being, or through inaction allow a human being to come to harm.

2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the first law.

3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the first or second law.

Robotics 1Copyright Martin P. Aalund, Ph.D.


Robot: Many Definitions

American Heritage Dictionary: ro·bot (rbt, -bt) n.

1:A mechanical device that sometimes resembles a human being and is capable of performing a variety of often complex human tasks on command or by being programmed in advance.

2: A machine or device that operates automatically or by remote control.

3:A person who works mechanically without original thought, especially one who responds automatically to the commands of others.


1 a: a machine that looks like a human being and performs various complex acts (as walking or talking) of a human being; also: a similar but fictional machine whose lack of capacity for human emotions is often emphasized b: an efficient insensitive person who functions automatically

2: a device that automatically performs complicated often repetitive tasks

3: a mechanism guided by automatic controls

RIA defines a robot as: "A programmable multi-function manipulator designed to move material, parts, or specialized devices through variable programmed motion for the performance of a variety of tasks" (RIA)

McKerrow, in 1986 used "A robot is a machine which can be programmed to do a variety of tasks in the same way a computer is an electronic circuit which can be programmed to do a variety of tasks”

Robotics 1Copyright Martin P. Aalund, Ph.D.

ok so what is a robot
OK so what is a robot?

Is it R2D2?

Is it an industrial welding robot?

A pick and place machine?

A Machine Tool?

A Back Hoe?

A car on cruse control?

A robot is an integration of mechanical electrical and software components that can be reprogrammed to perform a variety of tasks both with and without human intervention.

Robotics: The study of robots design, programming and control.

Robotics 1Copyright Martin P. Aalund, Ph.D.

so is robotics a new field
So is robotics a new field?
  • 800 BC Homer describes walking tripods in the Iliad
  • 350 BC Aristotle envisions mechanisms that work by "obeying or anticipating the will of others"
  • 1801 Joseph-Marie Jacquard invents an automated textile loom controlled by punched cards
  • 1892 Seward Babbitt designs a motorized crane and gripper to remove steel ingots from a furnace
  • 1890s Nikola Tesla, after working briefly for Edison, demonstrates various radio-controlled vehicles, including a submersible boat
  • 1926 Fritz Lang's movie Metropolis features Maria, a robot seductress
  • 1939 For the New York World's Fair, Westinghouse Electric Corp. builds a mechanical man and dog: Electro danced, counted to 10, smoked, and described Westingouse's products -- and his dog walked, stood on its hind legs, and barked
  • 1954 Devol designs a programmable factory robot (patent granted in 1961) aimed at "Universal Automation," later trimmed to Unimation. First commercial industry robot goes online in 1961 (Engleburger)

Robotics 1Copyright Martin P. Aalund, Ph.D.

new continued
New Continued?
  • 1976 NASA provides Mars landers with robot arms for its Viking I and II missions
  • 1977 Asea Brown Boveri Ltd. introduces microcomputer-controlled robots
  • 1977Star Wars stars an android, C3PO, and a mobile robot, R2D2. By the early 1980s, R2D2 lookalikes are vacuuming floors and singing songs in
  • 1978 Brooks Founded
  • 1982 PRI Automation, founded in
  • 1983 A six-leg walking robot is unwrapped by Odetics Inc.
  • 1984 Brooks Introduces Frog Leg
  • 1986 Honda Motor Co. launches a secret project to build a humanoid robot
  • 1990 Robodoc, developed by Dr. William Bargar and Howard Paul of Integrated Surgical Systems Inc. and the University of California at Davis, performs a hip-replacement operation on a dog -- and in 1992, on a human patient
  • 2000 At RoboCup 2000, three humanoid robots meet for the first time: Johnny Walker from the University of Western Australia, the Mk-II from Japan's Aoyama Gakuin University, and Pino from Kitano Symbiotic Systems Project

Robotics 1Copyright Martin P. Aalund, Ph.D.


DOF: Degree of Freedom. Free space has 6, a plane 3 , the surface of a sphere 3. A point in space is defined by 3. A line of unit length in space can be defined by a point and 3 angles.

Joint: Same as a human joint.

Revolute: Rotational Joint similar to elbow or wrist. 1DOF

Prismatic: Like an elevator 1DOF

Knuckle: Universal Joint 2DOF

Spherical: Ball and Socket 3DOF Not Common.

Kinematics: The relationship between the positions, and the positions derivatives of the robot and its links. Kinematics is motion without forces or mass.

Forward (direct) Kinematics: Given the joint trajectories find the link’s or end-effector’s.

Inverse Kinematics: Given a path calculate the motion of the joints.

Robotics 1Copyright Martin P. Aalund, Ph.D.

vocabulary 2
Kinetics: Relates motion and forces

Statics: Study of forces without motion

Dynamics: Study of motion and forces contain both kinetics and kinematics. Still have inverse and forward.

Force or Torque: Four Types

Coriolis: Coupling between Axes

Centripetal: Like a ball on a string.

Inertial: Due to acceleration of deceleration of a mass.

Gyroscopic: Changing the angle of a quickly spinning mass. Drill or Router.

Vocabulary 2

Robotics 1Copyright Martin P. Aalund, Ph.D.

vocabulary 3
Vocabulary 3

Manipulator: A robot arm.

Manipulation: The act of grasping and or moving an object.

Gripper: Attaches to a robot to allow an object to be picked up.

End-Effector: Part of robot that affects the world. This can be a gripper, a welding torch, a light, or a sensor.

Cartesian Coordinates: X Y Z a b g

Right Hand Rule: Standard for defining coordinate frames and positive motion.

Point Fingers of right hand down positive X axes, thump down positive Z axes, Curl fingers by 90 degrees. They will point in the Y direction.

Point thumb of right hand down any axes. Positive rotation is indicated by curling you fingers around the axes

Robotics 1Copyright Martin P. Aalund, Ph.D.

vocabulary 4
Vocabulary 4

Reference Frame: Coordinate system. Can be stationary or in motion.

Tool: Coordinate system that is attached to the tool or end-effector.

World: Coordinate system that the robot is relative to.

Global: Coordinate system that is stationary.

DH Parameters: Denavit-Hartenberg Parameters. Robot parameters obtained by a convention for defining the coordinate frames of a robot.

Robotics 1Copyright Martin P. Aalund, Ph.D.